QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: Agnes Huff

Her license plate is DOC4PR, she thinks all PR practitioners should

be psychologists, and she desperately needs some new curtains. Meet

Agnes Huff, Ph.D., president and CEO of LA-based Agnes Huff

Communications Group.



Describe the company you work for - Several of our nine employees have

graduate degrees, not only in marketing and PR, but in complementary

disciplines such as business, management, psychology and real estate. In

addition to PR, we have rescued clients from the brink of disasters and

helped them navigate the rough waters of perception and operational

crises.



Tell us something amusing/interesting/embarrassing about your company -

Most people find it amusing that I have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology,

but I own a PR agency. I tell them that it should be a prerequisite to

have a degree in psychology in this business. After all, we do

"analysis," we have to deal with "multiple personalities," more than a

few of our ideas are a bit "bizarre," and some of our relationships are

"dysfunctional."



How did you get into PR? - I didn't get into PR. I was thrown into it. I

worked for an airline as a flight attendant. When the airline had a

terrible accident, and they knew I was a psychologist, they put me in

charge of the media. From then on, I was hooked on PR and crisis

management.



What is your greatest achievement? - Getting the cover of Fortune

magazine for one of our clients, Singapore Airlines.



What was your best stunt? - Bringing a 390-pound Bengal tiger in to help

us launch a revolutionary new imaging facility offering MRI and CT scans

for domestic and exotic animals. Everyone, I mean everyone, showed

up.



What was your biggest screw-up? - Trying to save money for a client by

using a free internet translation service for a press release. It was

translated totally out of context - including the names of the people.

Thank goodness we didn't actually distribute the release.



What time do you get up? - I get up at the crack of dawn because we have

lots of windows and no window coverings. When the sun rises, I do too -

along with my two dogs, Lady and Nikki. We run around the longest blocks

for our exercise each morning.



What is the biggest item you've ever put on expenses? Was it approved? -

Black pearls from Tahiti. I forced my accountant to approve it.



What do you wish you hadn't said to the media? - "No comment." That was

then ... but now, I teach all my crisis communications students and

counsel my clients not to say it.



If you were an animal, what would you be? - A lioness, so I can be Queen

of the Jungle. It's a jungle out there, and it would be nice to be

queen.



Name one thing about your past people would be surprised to learn - That

I was born in Budapest, Hungary and that I'm psychic.



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